Sub-Femtojoule Hybrid Plasmonic Optical Modulator

Author's Department

Petroleum & Energy Engineering Department

Second Author's Department

Physics Department

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All Authors

S. M. Sherif; Mohamed Elsayed; Lamees A. Shahada; Mohamed A. Swillam

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

IEEE Photonics Journal

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A highly compact optical modulator is proposed and analyzed. The modulator is based on the hybrid plasmonic waveguide platform. The structure of the modulator is built from silicon, silver, and electro-optical polymer layers. Hybrid plasmonic modes of symmetric and asymmetric natures excited in the structure were investigated. The symmetric mode is characterized by its lower propagation loss, so it was selected for the excitation of the device. The modulator's operation mechanism is based on the racetrack resonator configuration. Full three-dimensional electromagnetic analysis was performed around the 1.55-μm telecommunication wavelength. Different parameters such as the power coupling to the bus waveguide, the bend loss, the propagation loss, and the Q-factor of the resonances were studied in order to optimize the racetrack resonator design. The modulator is characterized by its extremely low energy consumption of 0.5 fJ/bit, high modulation depth of 10.5 dB, while the insertion losses were limited to 0.5 dB.

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